Danise, the powerhouse singer out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has released her debut EP Love is Here – firmly cementing her place as one of the most diverse Christian rock artists in recent history. Even if Christian rock isn’t traditionally your thing, try to not let that deter you from appreciating Danise’s explosive voice and incredibly well-crafted pop-rock songs.
Falling somewhere in the realm of Flyleaf meets Kelly Clarkson, Danise’s voice has an unparalleled level of effortless power that hits the listener immediately – yet there’s always an element of control behind it that could only come from years of practice. Danise’s vocals work in a natural harmony with the driving guitars, thumping drums, grooving bass, and uplifting piano lines that are on display throughout the entire EP, and it all comes together to make Love is Here a true delight for fans of any genre to listen to.
The opening track, Lord Hear my Song kicks things off with a rather simplistic piano melody that the rest of the track builds upon. The verses bring in the drums and Danise’s soaring vocals, which never really let up for the remainder of the track. In fact, nearly two thirds of the way through, the music picks up even more-so and everything just feels raw, and emotional. Although it’s only the first track of this EP, this is arguably Danise’s strongest song vocally – some of her runs and melodies are absolutely captivating.
Most of this music may be about giving thanks, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that it feels like Danise owns every bit of who she is and isn’t afraid to lay that on the line for all of us to bear witness. This is Christian music, but it still has the undeniable swagger of rock and roll.
Sparkle in my Eyes starts off with a really solid and rhythmic instrumental that’s reminiscent of a hard rock ballad and stays relatively consistent throughout. Danise’s vocals masterfully sweep over the entire track with what seem to be impossibly high and powerful notes and tender falsettos – often times even within the same phrase. The only occasion in which Sparkle in my Eyes (and really the album altogether) somewhat stumbles over itself is during the bridge. There’s a repetition of a certain word that feels just a tad too forced and stands in stark contrast to Danise’s authentic vocals. Sparkle in my Eyes, however, rebounds stupendously and finishes off with one of the most intimate parts of the entire record – with a lush orchestral string outro.
Eternal Life, the next track of the EP, is your classic pop-rock song. It leads with a solid electric guitar hook that drives the entire piece and compliments Danise’s vocal particularly well – more so than on any other track from the record. There’s an undeniable call and response relationship between Danise’s voice and the music, which really helps the listener appreciate just how talented the band behind this epic voice really is.
The final track on Love is Here is Following You, and it’s hands-down the most interesting song on the record. It doesn’t depart too much from the established sound of the rest of the EP, but it takes this expected sound and kind of flips it on its heads half way through. There’s a relatively intense bridge that leads into a few spoken word phrases from Danise, which is unexpected as much as it is entirely welcomed. The perfect way to end the record, and making Danise as an artist so much more compelling.
Love is Here is as uplifting as it is compelling and energetic. Danise’s voice is a powerhouse that’s not to be trifled with, and she puts it on full display throughout every track on this EP. Though the vocals are phenomenal, the rest of the band is just as solid, and it all comes together to make a pop-rock collection that will definitely help start your year off on a high note.